Mount Tamalpais State Park, Mill Valley US-CA (37.8797,-122.5550)
GGNRA– Redwood Creek (stakeout Dusky Warbler 2015)
81 Seacape Dr, Muir Beach US-CA (37.8630,-122.5854)
The first site we went to, Mount Tamalpais State Park, had chaparral-covered ridges and grasslands. In the area we explored there were generally few trees and only low altitude shrub life. The key bird species found here was the American robin. The second site we went to was Redwood Creek. The site we visited consisted of the edge of a forest clearing along with a fairly dense set of trees. The key bird species was the Chestnut-backed Chickadee. The final site we visited was Muir Beach. The site we visited consisted of a seaside cliff with shrubbery and a few trees.
Peregrine falcon- The peregrine falcon is the fastest bird alive. They catch prey mid-flight, preferring pigeons and shorebirds. they have very sharp wings adapted for high-speed flight. They also have various plumages based on a variety of factors, some of which include environment and landscape. Generally, they nest in high altitudes and maintain most of their lifestyle in those higher altitudes. Their general habitats include coastlines where they can find their preferred prey of shorebirds. We found the peregrine falcon a couple hundred meters or so meters up in the air, riding a warm air current to gain altitude while conserving energy.
We arrived at the first location Mt. Tam, around 8:57am. There were supposed to be some white-crowned sparrows but we did not get to spot any. We stayed for about 56 min and then progressed on to the next location. At Redwood Creek, I finally got to observe a peregrine falcon firsthand, granted that it was hundreds of feet up in the air. Still, it’s not everyday you get to see the fastest bird alive. We also got a good glimpse of a woodpecker, which was very intriguing to me seeing as when I observed it, it was not pecking wood. At the final destination, Muir Beach, we got to see a gray whale- that was awesome and extraordinarily lucky for our first time. The weather was beautiful all day and the skies were clear- all in all, the perfect weather for a day of birding.